tabbouleh salad with chicken shish kebab

Jordan and I both love tabbouleh. The first time we had tabbouleh it was purchased from a tiny on-campus grocery store while I was studying at Georgetown. It was delicious. I made meals of it. Case in point: When I was an editor at The Georgetown Voice,  I would fuel the long nights we spent putting together that fine newsmagazine with a container of tabbouleh, a stack of pita bread and a pack of Haribo gummy bears. A balanced diet if there ever was one.

Now that I am older and wiser (and can no longer consume the quantity of candy I could during my Voice days), I decided to pair the tabbouleh with rice and chicken shish kebab. For those of you that might be skeptical, you don’t miss the gummy bears at all.

Chicken Shish Kebab
1/2 lb chicken, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 t paprika
1/2 t cayenne
salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt, lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning  — it should be well seasoned since this is the only seasoning you’ll put on the chicken. After your satisfied with the taste of your marinade, add the chicken and let sit for at least one hour or overnight. Meanwhile, make the tabbouleh.

Tabbouleh Salad
1 cup fine-grain bulgur wheat
2 bunches parsley, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Bring two cups of well-seasoned water to a boil. Add the bulgur, cover and set aside for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the salad. Chop the herbs—some stems are totally ok— chop the onion and garlic. Mix the herbs and vegetables together in a large bowl. If tomatoes are in season, feel free to chop a few of those and add them in as well.  Add the lemon juice. Drain the excess water out of your bulgur and add that to the herb mixture. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. It should be quite herby and lemony. Add a hearty drizzle of olive oil to help mellow the flavors out and set aside. This salad only improves as the flavors meld.

Put the chicken cubes onto skewers. You’ll lose some of the yogurt marinade while skewering, but the flavors should have had time to permeate the chicken. Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Cook the skewers for several minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice alongside the tabbouleh salad.

-Emily